Thursday, April 17, 2014

BARU BIAN: A TRIBUTE TO KARPAL SINGH



 Karpal Singh, the Tiger of Jelutong Sleeps Forevermore

"Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity."
- Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Like thousands of Malaysians, I was deeply saddened this morning to hear of the death of Karpal Singh. I received the news at Kuching International Airport this morning on my way to attend an Easter Convention in my constituency. Many eloquent and moving tributes have been written in the few hours since the announcement of his passing and I fear that my words may be inadequate to convey the immense sorrow that I feel on the loss of this great and fearless fighter of the people, and the enormous respect with which I regard him.

I first met YB Karpal in KL while I was appearing in a criminal case in my first year of legal practice in 1987. The last time I saw him was at the PR Convention in March this year. As a lawyer I honour him for his fearlessness and dedication in upholding justice. As a politician I salute him for his consistency in speaking for the rakyat and for upholding the Federal Constitution without fear or favour. He was true to his reputation as the Tiger of Jelutong.

Despite the persecution he endured over the decades at the hands of the authorities, Karpal held true to his principles and never faltered in his fight for human rights, justice and the supremacy of the Federal Constitution. Here was a lawyer you could count on to lay down the facts and the law, and a man you could rely on to articulate the right from the wrong. His views at times may not have been pleasing even to those in his own party but he never held back from speaking his mind. His motivation was not the popularity stakes, but truth and justice. His recent conviction for sedition merely for giving a legal opinion was taken in his stride, and his last words in a recent interview with Malaysiakini were ‘We must stay and fight’.

Indefatigable and relentless leaders such as Karpal Singh are few and far between. While we mourn his passing, I also offer a prayer of thanksgiving for his extraordinary life which was generously lived in the service of his people. I wish to express the gratitude of countless lawyers, political leaders and ordinary Malaysians for the inspiration that he was and will continue to be. It is said that when a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him lies on the paths of men. We are indebted to Karpal Singh for his immeasurable contribution to the unfolding democratisation of our country, and for his dogged efforts in paving the way for those left behind to carry on. The fight will go on but it will not be the same without Karpal Singh.

Malaysia has lost a truly wonderful leader and Statesman. There will never be another Karpal Singh.

I wish to extend my deepest sympathy and that of PKR Sarawak to Mrs Karpal Singh and family members of the late Karpal Singh and also to his larger family of DAP for their loss.

Baru Bian
Chairman
PKR Sarawak
17 April 2014
 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Migrant workers worse off here than back home, say Asian MPs

BY JENNIFER GOMEZ
APRIL 16, 2014
(From left) Malaysian member of parliament Charles Santiago; Sabiha Nazir from the National Assembly of Pakistan; Cambodian member of parliament Phirum Keo; Malaysia Bar Council member Datuk  M. Ramachelvam; and Zakir Hussain, member of Constitutional Assembly of Nepal, during the Advisory Committee for Asian Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on Labour Migration held at Petaling Jaya today. – The Malaysian Insider by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.(From left) Malaysian member of parliament Charles Santiago; Sabiha Nazir from the National Assembly of Pakistan; Cambodian member of parliament Phirum Keo; Malaysia Bar Council member Datuk M. Ramachelvam; and Zakir Hussain, member of Constitutional Assembly of Nepal, during the Advisory Committee for Asian Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on Labour Migration held at Petaling Jaya today. – The Malaysian Insider by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.An Asian parliamentary caucus on labour migration has called on Putrajaya to reveal details of MoUs it signed with nations who send their citizens to Malaysia for work, following reports of abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in the country. 
Nepal MP Zakir Hussain said his embassy officials told him that one Nepali death was recorded at detention camps in Malaysia every week due to starvation and limited access to healthcare. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Nepal MP Zakir Hussain said his embassy officials told him that one Nepali death was recorded at detention camps in Malaysia every week due to starvation and limited access to healthcare. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Nepal MP Zakir Hussain said his embassy officials told him that one Nepali death was recorded at detention camps in Malaysia every week due to starvation and limited access to healthcare.
"A total of 346 Nepalese nationals died here last year, with 52 deaths in detention camps.
"What I don't understand is how Malaysia has adequate laws on migrant labour but practises low standards of human rights," Zakir said at a press conference today.
The caucus, which is on a fact-finding mission to Malaysia, also accused Putrajaya of being a stumbling block to the finalising of the Asean Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights of Migrant Workers which has been in the works since 2007.
Klang MP Charles Santiago, a member of the caucus, said there is no reason for the MOUs signed between Putrajaya and participating countries to be shrouded in secrecy. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Klang MP Charles Santiago, a member of the caucus, said there is no reason for the MOUs signed between Putrajaya and participating countries to be shrouded in secrecy. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Klang MP Charles Santiago, who is a member of the caucus, said the government has signed MoUs with Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia, among others, but details of these were unknown.
"It appears that those who are familiar with the content of the MoUs are labour brokers, who use it to manipulate migrant workers. This is the common complaint among the embassies and workers themselves.
"There is no reason for these MoUs to be shrouded in secrecy," Santiago added.
One of the recommendations of the caucus is for Putrajaya to have a government-to-government approach in the recruitment of migrant workers in order to minimise recruitment costs and exploitation by outsourcing to companies and labour brokers.
The caucus’s findings said that in addition to violation of labour rights including poor wages and long working hours, migrant workers in Malaysia continue to live in poverty, leading Pakistan MP Sabiha Nazir to say that in some instances, the workers are worse off than they were before in their country of origin. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.The caucus’s findings said that in addition to violation of labour rights including poor wages and long working hours, migrant workers in Malaysia continue to live in poverty, leading Pakistan MP Sabiha Nazir to say that in some instances, the workers are worse off than they were before in their country of origin. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.The caucus also found that in addition to violation of labour rights including poor wages and long working hours, migrant workers in Malaysia continue to live in poverty.
"In some instances, they are worse off that they were before in their country of origin," said Pakistan MP Sabiha Nazir.
According to Santiago, the Malaysian Labour Department declined an invitation from the caucus to attend the three-day meeting which ends today.
Mariquit Melgar, a representative from the Philippines, also called on the Malaysian government to practice fair play, saying that Filipinos working in Malaysia since the 1970s have contributed to the development and economy of Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Mariquit Melgar, a representative from the Philippines, also called on the Malaysian government to practice fair play, saying that Filipinos working in Malaysia since the 1970s have contributed to the development and economy of Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 16, 2014.Mariquit Melgar, a representative from the Philippines, also called on the Malaysian government to practice fair play, saying that Filipinos working in Malaysia since the 1970s have contributed to the development and economy of Malaysia.
"In a session with our workers last month, they told us that they are not here to create trouble, and that they are doing their best, working long hours.
"They are not terrorists, they are not robbers, they just want better treatment and fair wages, is that too much to ask for?" she said.
In calling for recruitment of migrant workers to be conducted on an inter-governmental basis, Santiago said this would protect them from being exploited by outsourcing companies and labour brokers who were practicing "contract substitution".
"The Pakistan MP revealed that workers from her country had signed agreements with high wages  and wonderful terms in Pakistan, but when they got here, these outsourcing companies would substitute their contracts, where they would end up with poor wages and bad living conditions.
"The MP said that workers she met here yesterday were practically crying over allegations that they had been cheated by these middlemen," Santiago said.
Bar Council's chairperson for migrants and refugees Datuk M. Ramachelvam said that what was needed was another amnesty programme following the failure of the previous 6P programme by the government, which was aimed at regularising undocumented migrant workers.
"In one 6P processing centre in Wangsa Maju, the agent was collecting about RM2,000 from each migrant worker and there were about 8,000 there applying, which means the agent collected about RM16 million.
"But not one of them got their documents," he said.
He called on Putrajaya to take charge of both the recruitment and amnesty programme to prevent migrant workers from being fleeced by third parties.
The Asian parliamentary caucus representing 15 countries also called on Putrajaya to practise strong political will in restructuring the management of migrant workers. – April 16, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

‘We do not instigate natives’


April 16, 2014
Save Rivers Sarawak said they only provide Baram blockaders with legal advice and connections with lawyers, NGOs and other protesting communities.

peter-kallang-Baram-DamKUCHING: An NGO here has denied accusations that they are instigating Baram natives into prolonging blockades which they began last year in a bid to stop preparatory works on the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam in the Miri Division.
“What do they mean we are instigating these people? We do not instigate anyone. If some people encroach into their (the natives’) lands, then those should be illegal acts.
“We are supporting them with legal advice, as well as connecting them with lawyers, NGOs and other groups protesting against the building of dams,” said Save Rivers Network Sarawak chairman Peter Kallang.
Kallang said the “natives have their own hands in organising the blockades” in Long Lama and Long Kesseh and the NGO did nothing more than assist them with information.
“We also let them know about the police presence, how to face the police, what to do if any of them are arrested, who to call if arrested, and what to do, and what are their legal rights under the Malaysian Constitution, the United Nations laws and the Sarawak Land Code.,” he said.
Kallang claimed the state government was not listening to the natives’ plights and that the natives “no longer even trust their own community leaders.”
“These community leaders kept on lying to the government that the people of Baram agree to the building of the dam, when actually more than 90 percent are against it,” Kallang said.
Kallang had reportedly said that the blockades were now ‘very structured’ with the welfare of the protesters looked into, logistical challenges overcome and other negligible administrative details worked on.
He was also quoted as saying that the protestors were working on a rosterred routine.
He said blockade at Long Kesseh was given more priority by the natives, with an average of 20 persons manning the blockade at any one time. There were less people at the blockade at Long Lama.
The blockade at Long Kesseh was alternately manned by natives from areas above the proposed Baram dam, that were Long Kesseh itself, Long Pilah, Long Liput, Long Miri, Uma Bawang, while the one in Long Lama was monitored by natives from Long Lama and other areas below the Baram dam site, he said.
“The biggest challenges for the natives were the ignorance by the government officials and the Sarawak Energy Berhad personnel.
“Otherwise, they are doing well in hanging on. In terms of food and other provisions during the blockades, there are no problems. The folks in every villages in Baram are contributing to them, each family is contributing RM1 per month for the purpose,” Kallang told FMTBorneoPlus.
Police monitoring blockades
The blockade near Long Lama is to stop the building of a 150km access road to the dam site, while the other at Long Kesseh was to thwart Sarawak Energy Bhd contractors’ right of entry into the site.
The dam was projected to generate up to1,200 Mw of electricity, and once completed, would inundate 400 square km of rainforest and dislodge about 20,000 people.
On Sunday, Sarawak State Police Commissioner Muhammad Sabtu Osman said police were willing to hold discussions with villagers in an effort to persuade them to end their blockades.
Without identifying any particular blockade, Sabtu said what was imperative was that as long as the villagers involved did not commit any crime, police would not provoke them.
“If we provoke them, the situation will be even more critical. Although there are blockades now, it is still peaceful. So to us, we do not want to provoke anyone,” he told reporters.
It was understood that Sabtu was referring to the Baram Dam blockades.
~ Free Malaysia Today

Reformasi 2.0 move is about dumping BN to fix Malaysia’s institutions, says Rafizi

BY EILEEN NG
APRIL 16, 2014
PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with a copy of ‘Reformasi 2.0’. He says the aim of the Reformasi 2.0 campaign is to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 16, 2014.PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with a copy of ‘Reformasi 2.0’. He says the aim of the Reformasi 2.0 campaign is to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 16, 2014.PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli is clear about the central message in the party's new Reformasi 2.0 campaign – it is about throwing out the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to fix Malaysia's institutions.
The Pandan MP said he hoped to provoke the younger generation into questioning the independence of the judiciary and abuse of the rule of law so that they may develop a commitment to justice and social reform.
"They don't understand the drive to defeat BN is not really about power. It's about fixing the institutions and what they should have been in the first place," he told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur.
He hoped the clarion call was sounded in his latest book “Reformasi 2.0 Fakta Kes Anwar Ibrahim: Di Mana Integriti Mahkamah?" (Reformation 2.0 Facts on Anwar Ibrahim’s Case: Where is the Court's Integrity?) released last week.
Rafizi said the book was not meant to recreate the Reformasi movement of 1998 born in the aftermath of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sacking from Putrajaya and first sodomy conviction, for which the former deputy prime minister spent six years in jail.
"My generation understood what happened in 1998 but the younger generation, who are in their early 20s, do not. All they know is Anwar is PKR and opposition leader who is hell-bent on taking over Putrajaya,” said the 37-year-old politician.
The book, Rafizi said, was to create awareness among youth, especially Malays aged between 18 and 25, on the importance of salvaging the independence of the judiciary which he claimed had been "strangled".
He added that the book explained to the younger generation that it was not just about bread-and-butter issues, it went beyond that.
"It is about salvaging the very institution that will deny justice, fairness in a much more deep-rooted sense than your barang naik," he said, using the Malay words for the rising prices of goods and services.
"When they understand this, their commitment to justice and political reform will be a lot stronger than just towards a political party," he said.
Rafizi said there was a marked difference in the reaction following Anwar's first sodomy trial and the recent case in the Court of Appeal.
The first sodomy conviction caused a huge shockwave and anger towards BN and it brought into focus the role of the judiciary and its integrity, he said.
He said in the latest hearing 15 years later, the people had long accepted that the court process was flawed and that the integrity of the judiciary had been compromised.
"Therefore, although the manipulation is as bad as the first trial, there is no real public reaction or awareness of what's happening with this latest trial.
"So, for the public to understand what's happening, the book will put the focus back on the independence of the judiciary and how the rule of law has been abused to have a go at political opponents.”
Anwar was sentenced to five years jail after the Court of Appeal last month overturned his acquittal by the High Court and found him guilty of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Saiful, 28, had accused Anwar of sodomising him in 2008 shortly after the 12th general election and even swore on the Quran that he was telling the truth.
As a result, Anwar – who is appealing against the decision – is at risk of losing his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and he would also not be able to hold any party positions.
Under the Federal Constitution, an elected representative is disqualified from office if fined more than RM2,000 or jailed for a term exceeding one year.
Besides Anwar, the Pakatan Rakyat opposition pact has also accused BN of using existing laws to target their leaders.
DAP's Karpal Singh might lose his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat after being found guilty of sedition for the remarks he made on the removal of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak menteri besar by the Sultan of Perak in February 2009. Karpal was  sentenced to a RM4,000 fine.
Rafizi is in danger of losing his Pandan parliamentary seat as well after being charged with violating banking laws on August 1 last year when he exposed confidential banking documents of the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp), the company at the centre of the RM250 million cattle-farming scandal that was linked to former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil's family.
Rafizi faces a maximum RM3 million fine and jail term of up to three years upon conviction.
Both Karpal and Anwar are appealing their sentences.
Rafizi said by reproducing the facts of Anwar's case in the 80-page book, it allowed people to understand that after 16 years, nothing had changed.
"That's why we named it Reformasi 2.0, because the issues we are fighting today – rule of law, judicial integrity, abuse of police power – are the same issues we were fighting in 1998."

The book, which has been translated into Tamil, is sold at RM5 each at Reformasi 2.0 roadshows. It can be obtained online attwww.kempenrakyat.com for RM10, which includes the postage.
There are plans to translate it into English and Chinese as well.
To date, some 10,000 copies have been sold. An estimated 30,000 copies are expected to be sold by the end of the Reformasi roadshow on April 20 in Lembah Pantai.
So far, the feedback on the book has been positive, with many remarking that it was concise and factual. – April 16, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

'Prophet didn’t grant Muslim parent custody'

8:19AM Apr 16, 2014

By Aidila Razak


Prophet Muhammad did not automatically grant custody of a child to a Muslim parent when he was asked to judge on a custody dispute involving a Muslim father and non-Muslim mother.

According to independent Islamic scholar and preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin, the Prophet actually asked the child which of his parents he would prefer to be with.

"He placed the child between his non-Muslim mother and Muslim father and gave the child a choice. The child chose his non-Muslim mother.

"At that point, the Prophet said ‘Oh Allah, enlighten him’ and when the Prophet finished his prayer, the child went to his father," he wrote on his Facebook page.

When contacted by Malaysiakini, Wan Ji (right) said that the sunnah swayed the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought to believe that custody should be granted on the basis of love, rather than the parents' faith.

This differed with the Shafie and Hanbali schools, which believe that it should be based on the parents' faith.

Wan Ji, who is a former PAS Ulama wing executive council member, said that he was inclined to adopt the view of the Hanafi and Maliki schools in the latest custody battle between S Deepa and her ex-husband Izwan Abdullah, a Hindu who converted to Islam.

This means custody should be granted to the Hindu mother rather than the Muslim father.

He said this is because the child is under seven, an age where he is considered in Islam to be ‘mumayiz’, that is being able to tell between right and wrong.

"At the age of six, the child is closer to his mother so I am more inclined to side with an argument based on love.

"I don't discount that some children are close to their fathers, but generally speaking, most children are closer to their mothers at a younger age as it is the mothers who nurse them,” he added.

'Islam prioritises love and safety'

Wan Ji said Muslims in Malaysia should look at the matter rationally, and not too emotionally, as even the Prophet did not insist that a child be cared for by a Muslim parent.

"I understand that some who want custody to be with the Muslim parent are concerned that the child may not be raised as a Muslim.
"However, I believe this can be solved as the court can still grant regular access to the father, even if the child is cared for by the mother,” he added.

He also urged all groups who have differing views on the matter to join a roundtable to discuss the matter with those who oppose them, so there is a rational and systematic solution.

"Islam would want love and safety (for the child) and not chaos," he said.

Izwan had snatched their six-year-old son from Deepa after the High Court granted her custody because he feared that she will not raise him as a Muslim. The couple have a nine-year-old daughter, who is with Deepa.

Deepa (left) said that she did not initially have plans to revoke her husband's unilateral conversion of her children to Islam.

However, she said that she is now determined to overturn the conversion after the boy was snatched from her Jelebu home.

"When they turn 18, they (the children) can choose what religion they want to (follow). I have nothing against Islam, because there are Muslims in my family too," she told Malaysiakini.

Deepa's mother, Siti Aishah, is a Muslim convert.

Police will not act on Deepa's report on the snatching, claiming that Izwan was granted custody by the Syariah Court. Deepa is filing a case against Izwan for contempt of court.
~ Malaysiakini

All right to use Allah


SHAH ALAM: Non-Muslims in Selangor can use the word "Allah" as long as they do not use it to propagate their religion to Muslims, Selangor executive councillor for Islamic affairs Sallehin Mukhyi said today.
He told the state assembly during a question-and-answer session that this is in accordance with the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
"Non-Muslims can use the word 'Allah' if it is not misused, such as for propaganda to spread other religions. If 'Allah' is used by a Christian to spread their religion to Muslims, then it is not allowed," he said.
Sallehin, who is also Sabak assemblyman, was responding to a question by state opposition leader Datuk Shamsudin Lias on whether the state government had taken steps to address the "Allah" issue.
He said the state government is acting in accordance with all relevant laws.
The "Allah" dispute has been a thorn in the side of inter-religious ties, with conservative Muslim groups calling for a ban on use of the word by non-Muslims.
Non-Muslim groups and liberal Muslims have opposed the call, and have also criticised the seizure of Bibles at the Bible Society of Malaysia's premises in Damansara Utama on Jan 2 by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
In the incident, Jais seized more than 300 Bibles in the Malay and Iban languages that contained the word "Allah".
Catholic weekly the Herald's editor, Rev Fr Lawrence Andrew, welcomed the stand taken by the state government, adding that this is the correct interpretation of the Federal Constitution.
"What the state executive council said is what has been stated in the Federal Constitution – that non-Muslims cannot propagate any religion to Muslims.
"But some people and officials misunderstand this," he told theSun in a telephone conversation today.
Stressing that he cannot comment much on this since the case is still in court, Lawrence said that the state government's move is a good one.
~ The Sun Daily

Monday, April 14, 2014

No let-up by Sarawak natives who continue to obstruct dam

BY DESMOND DAVIDSON

APRIL 14, 2014
Sarawak natives have been camping out at the site of the proposed Baram dam for almost six months and are disappointed with the new chief minister’s plan to continue his predecessor’s destructive policies of exploiting the land. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 14, 2014.Sarawak natives have been camping out at the site of the proposed Baram dam for almost six months and are disappointed with the new chief minister’s plan to continue his predecessor’s destructive policies of exploiting the land. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 14, 2014.Sarawak may have a new man at the helm but nothing has changed for the natives at Baram who have been doggedly manning two blockades on the roads leading to the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam for almost six months.
If anything, the natives, fearful of being displaced once construction begins, are determined to persevere in their efforts despite little work currently being done on the dam.
“The morale among those manning the blockades has not dropped despite the fall in activities (on the proposed dam),” Save Rivers Network chairman Peter Kallang said.
The blockades, one near Long Lama and the other at a place locals refer to as “Kilometre 15” near Long Kesseh, are to stop preparatory work on the dam that reportedly would be “slightly bigger” than the 944Mw Murum hydroelectric dam near Belaga.
“They know they have a lot more to lose if they give up now,” he said.
The Baram dam will reportedly generate between 1,000 and 1,200Mw of electricity and if constructed, would flood 400 sq km of tropical rainforest and displace about 20,000 people.
Kallang said manning the blockades has now become “very organised” with the welfare of the protesters looked into, logistical problems overcome and other minor administrative details worked on.
“We now have a roster to ensure everyone has a turn at manning the blockades. We have organised activities to kill their boredom, like having an eat-out at regular intervals to shore up their spirits.
“We have even built proper toilets and bathroom facilities at the blockades.”
Kallang said the makeshift shed which the protesters built as their “home” away from home, looked like a permanent structure now.
“We're in for the long haul,” he said.
The blockade near Long Lama is to prevent the construction of a 150km access road to the dam site while the blockade at Long Kesseh is to prevent Sarawak Energy Bhd contractors’ access to the site.
The non-governmental organisation that Kallang heads claimed the proposed dam was “forced on the people without their required free, prior and informed consent”.
Now that former chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the man behind the plan to build up to 12 large dams to power Sarawak's drive to become an industrial state, is no longer the chief executive, Kallang is preparing to take up the fight with Taib's successor, Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Adenan's recent statement that the natives resisted the dams because “the people are not aware of the benefits of the hydro dam and are poisoned by NGOs” had riled up Kallang.
“It seems Adenan is either misinformed by his advisers or he is just doing the bidding of his predecessor, Taib Mahmud, who is now the head of state, to continue with his destructive policies of exploiting the land, territories and resources of the natives in Sarawak.”
He said the natives in Baram and at other places that the state government had identified as potential sites like in Limbang, Lawas, Baleh and Pelagus were aware of the destruction brought about by the dams, and the problems faced by the indigenous communities.
“All the hydroelectric dams built in Sarawak over the past decades have proved that the natives who gave way did not benefit from this so-called development,” he said.
The first dam in the state, at Batang Ai, was built in the 1980s and displaced some 3,000 people from 26 longhouses.
Kallang said most have yet to receive their land titles until today.
“Some have died without seeing their promised land,” he said.
“They were promised free electricity and now they have to pay for it like anyone else.”
The second dam was the mammoth Bakun dam, which displaced some 10,000 people who were relocated at Sungai Asap, which Kallang said was an unsatisfactory resettlement area.
He said the land there was not suitable for farming and the area lacked basic infrastructure.
He also said the displaced people were given unreasonable and incomplete compensation and poor quality houses.
The third dam at Murum was completed last year.
Kallang said Adenan would not say what he had said “if he really understands the problems faced by the displaced indigenous community”.
He appealed to Adenan to keep to his promise of his willingness to listen to the people and the problems faced by the indigenous community displaced by the dams. – April 14, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

PKR slams ‘vicious’ appeal by Putrajaya in seeking longer jail sentence on Anwar

BY LOOI SUE-CHERN
APRIL 14, 201
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Putrajaya court complex on March 7. His political career may come to an end should the Federal Court court uphold the Court of Appeal ruling to overturn his acquittal in 2012. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 14, 2014.Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Putrajaya court complex on March 7. His political career may come to an end should the Federal Court court uphold the Court of Appeal ruling to overturn his acquittal in 2012. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 14, 2014.Putrajaya's application to enhance Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's jail sentence for his sodomy conviction is vicious and politically motivated, said PKR vice-president N. Surendran.
The lawyer said the cross-appeal, which is also selectively done, should be dropped immediately.
Surendran accused Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of being wholly responsible for the latest persecution of Anwar.
Anwar, who is convicted of sodomising his former aide last month, has been slapped with a five-year prison term.

"It is clear that Umno and BN's intention is to end Anwar's political challenge to the ruling BN coalition. They want to do this by seeking a longer jail sentence," he said in a statement today.
The opposition leader has filed an appeal, but Putrajaya has cross-appealed, seeking to enhance the five-year jail sentence.
Surendran, who is also Padang Serai MP, said BN has consistently used the police, judiciary and the Attorney-General to intimidate, persecute and jail opposition and civil society leaders since independence.
"Umno and the PM's personal involvement in trying to jail Anwar is made obvious by the appointment of Najib's personal lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to prosecute Anwar.
"The selective nature of the government's cross-appeal in Anwar's case is obvious when compared to the decision not to appeal in cases which involved BN leaders' interests," he said.
Surendran cited the acquittals of political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda in the murder case of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, and former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in the Port Klang Free Zone scandal.
He said the prosecution "to the shock and disgust of the nation" never filed any appeals against the acquittals in the two high-profile cases.
"The government's corrupt and  underhand attempt to jail Anwar is a frontal assault upon our system of parliamentary democracy.
"The government must drop the cross-appeal immediately, publicly state that they will not oppose Anwar's appeal against conviction, and apologise for the wrongs done to him and to the Malaysian public's sense of justice," he said.
Yesterday, The Malaysian Insider reported that Putrajaya was turning the screws further on Anwar as prosecutors filed a cross-appeal to enhance the five-year jail term.
Anwar's lawyer Karpal Singh had said the appeal against the conviction and sentence appeared to be expedited for hearing in the Federal Court as the court registry had already sent him part of the appeal records.
"After going through the records, I found that the prosecution has appealed to enhance Anwar's jail term," Karpal told The Malaysian Insider.
This came almost two weeks after Putrajaya also cross-appealed against a lighter sentence imposed on Karpal, who was found guilty of sedition.
On March 11, Karpal was fined RM4,000 but the prosecution filed a cross-appeal, urging the Court of Appeal to impose a stiffer penalty.
In Anwar's case, a three-man Court of Appeal bench sentenced the PKR de facto leader to five years jail after allowing Putrajaya's appeal to set aside the High Court decision which had acquitted him of sodomising his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at an upscale condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.
Should the Federal Court court uphold the Court of Appeal ruling, Anwar, who is the Permatang Pauh MP, risks losing his parliamentary seat and could see his political career coming to an end.
He was earlier acquitted of the crime in January 2012 by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. But the verdict was reversed by the Appeals Court on March 7, days before the PKR de facto leader was to contest in the Kajang by-election, which observers said would pave his way to becoming the Selangor menteri besar. – April 14, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider